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Winter Ballbuster 2017
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Wheezy




Joined: 10 Oct 2007
Posts: 1561
Location: Sub 3 (elect)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:36 pm    Post subject: Winter Ballbuster 2017 Reply with quote

I've entered this and will be my first go, despite it being a local race to me for many years. Any advice for this one? Anyone else having a go?
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Throttle back on the long descent on the first run, prepare for the second run to hurt regardless.
Rolling Eyes
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed_m wrote:
Throttle back on the long descent on the first run, prepare for the second run to hurt regardless.
Rolling Eyes


or just learn to descend...
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TRO Saracen




Joined: 18 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done 8 or 9 Ballbusters, great race.

Always did the Spring one as a season opener.

It's a runners duathlon, you'll be running far longer than cycling and the second run stings. Fuel as for a marathon, general rule is you'll take about as long as your stand alone marathon. Holy grail is two even run splits, as is a sub 3 overall time (my best was 3:09).

Great Hoodie (if they still do them), my general view is there is someone in a Ballbuster hoodie in every Triathlon transition....

Once you pass the NT café/transition there is a fair amount of false flat to go before you are at the highest point, catches you out. Aero road bike with clip ons probably the optimum set up.

Care down the descent on Lodgebottom Rd, pretty quick but narrow and you can get the odd car coming up - locals are bad tempered and inconsiderate due to the fact their lives are blighted by 100's of cyclists every weekend.

They pack you into the NT Car park such that you will not be able to get out: prepare to hang about after, especially if you are an early arriver.

Field for transition can get muddy, sometimes really sticky/cloying mud and worm casts which can clog up your wheels/brakes etc, got me one year and I had to stop to clear it out of the brakes etc - any chance of that and I carry my bike out of the field rather than wheel it.
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Wheezy




Joined: 10 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for that. My next question was going to be road or tt bike so thanks for answering that Saracen. Should help me keep some training going through the autumn along with a potential marathon.
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PhilleusPhogg




Joined: 11 May 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking of entering this again this year - would be second time around for me so might see you there.

TRO Saracen's advice is spot on.

Echoing EJC, to be able to run well, particularly at the business end, I think you definitely need to work on run descending (or suitable strengthening exercises). It's not technical (although you of course need to be mindful of having good downhill technique of course) but there's some steep downhills that will give your legs a good old battering.

I've heard a few people on here espouse lots of lunges as a good strengthening substitute if you can't find any steep hills nearby.

Interesting call road vs. TT - I think there's a lot of time to be gained along the top section down to Headley on a TT as you can easily get up to a decent speed so aero really helps there, and not convinced you lose it back on the climb as box hill isn't that steep.
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TRO Saracen




Joined: 18 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bike is really 3 sections.

The rolling section, the long descent and the climb of Box (all done 3 times).

You'll get a little on the rolling bit with a TT, you'll probably lose a little on the box climb but nothing major.

If you don't handle a TT bike well on descents then you'll also lose time on the descents (aero does not really matter, just cojones, cornering, braking late etc).

I have done the race on a normal roadie, aero roadie with clip ons and a TT and the aero roadie with clip ons was the fastest. Climbed well, could approach the descents with reasonable confidence and could get reasonably aero for the rollers.

But really not a lot in it between the 3 options - and probably dependent on your own strengths/weaknesses, so you'll see all 3 types of bike out on the day.

Minor differences in bike kit choice pale into insignificance compared to the impact of pacing/nutrition errors leading to blowing on run 2...
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Wheezy




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers guys. I'm pretty familiar with the bike course as I organise my cycling club's sporting tt which uses pretty much the same route and I've always done it on my road bike. Seems like the best thing to do is to pace it to get through that last run loop with something still in the tank. Mainly doing it for the hoodie. 😀
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Tri it man




Joined: 22 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reckon doing the first run at 85/90% effort and the bike not much more than that to leave something for the last run. Treat it like the first half of a marathon. As said box not that steep but doing it 3 times you'll know about it and eating/getting enough carbs in is also key. Gets really tricky if the course is wet and with leaves.
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Tin Pot




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Says Box Hill five times here:
http://humanrace.co.uk/event/ballbuster/

What's the total climb over 24 'miles then, jeepers!
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Whisk




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tin Pot wrote:
Says Box Hill five times here:
http://humanrace.co.uk/event/ballbuster/

What's the total climb over 24 'miles then, jeepers!


Yes - 2 times on foot and 3 times on the bike.

I guess the altitude gain must be about 200m per lap.
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deeess




Joined: 05 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they are having staggered starts this year rather than the usual mass set-off
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PhilleusPhogg




Joined: 11 May 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Officially entered now.

Will be the longest I've run in a good while so actually quite looking forward to an incentive to up the run mileage a little bit, and to see if I've improved since 2014 when I did it last.
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PhilleusPhogg




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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did 3 loops on Sunday on the road bike to experiment with power/pacing/position. Despite doing those roads loads as part of other rides, doing 3 loops at pace was informative. Lessons learned:

1. Forget the ego, ride to power and the time will be what it will be. I blew up badly on the last loop after lifting the effort on the second. This race is all about the second run so getting there in as good shape as possible is key.
2. Trying to be aero on the road bike was more fatiguing than I anticipated. With my current setup, on the drops I had elbows a bit bent to get down lower for long sections and this was actually pretty tiring (duh!). Same with getting low on the hoods.

Going to hopefully get out and do a similar ride on the TT this weekend to see how that goes and compare notes.
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Cat5 in the Hat




Joined: 14 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2p:

Don't do it less than 24hrs after a transatlantic flight.
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